- David Boudeweel-Lefebvre
Health care is top of mind in Québec
New year? Same issues.
Québec's healthcare system continues to struggle with overcrowded emergency rooms, staffing shortages, increasing hospitalizations and forced overtime.
Fortunately, major projects to transform the province’s healthcare sector are expected this year: Québec’s Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, intends not only to review and modernize provincial healthcare infrastructure, but also the delivery of services and patients' access to their medical records. With the province’s public finances in good condition, and a new potential influx of funds coming from federal transfers, Québec should be in a good position to implement significant reforms in 2023.
Major healthcare reforms on the horizon
Beyond plans to improve healthcare data management and service delivery, the Coalition avenir Québec government has also committed to set up two private hospitals whose services will be reimbursed by the public, one in Québec City and the other in Montréal, to add flexibility to the system. The intention behind this move is to help reduce pressure on emergency rooms, as these private centres would offer services to patients before their cases become emergencies.
Other proposals are also on the table, such as modifying the mode of reimbursement for medical procedures, modernizing the pharmacy care model and increasing support for the generic drug industry. The main objective will be to decentralize the management of the province’s healthcare system so it can be more agile and responsive to the needs of Quebecers, and better able to retain employees.
Minister Dubé is determined to hit the ground running this year, making rapid changes, with the entire CAQ government supporting healthcare reforms as a top priority. Less interested in theory than concrete results, Dubé has been demonstrating a more hands on, practical approach that could lead him to succeed where others have failed — for instance, setting up a crisis team not even a month after his government’s re-election in October to tackle the challenge of long wait times.
If staying up-to-date on developments in the Canadian healthcare sector is important to you, Québec will be a key jurisdiction to keep an eye on in 2023.